Nigerian government urged to empower youths through ICT

Gloria Essien, Abuja


The Nigerian government has been urged to ensure that more youths are steered towards Information and Communication Technology, ICT, for national growth.

The Executive Director, Sustainable Initiatives for Nurturing Growth, SING, Mr. Idris Abiodun Usman made the call at media parley in Abuja.

He said that the youths, especially in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria need to be empowered to curb restiveness.

“We however call on the federal government to ensure that more Nigerian youths are steered towards technology to bridge the gap between our technological advancement and that of other climes where children contribute to the economy using technology,” Usman said.

He also pointed out that the Sustainable Initiatives for Nurturing Growth, SING, has been working in the Niger Delta region since 2008 and can authoritatively say that the locals encourage environmental pollution by aiding and abetting illegal refineries that promote spillage.

He noted that apart from the Ogoni clean-up, there are so many clean ups to be done in the Niger Delta region.  

“The Ogoni clean-up has been on the front burner for a long time. We have promises upon promises. Government comes and to appease the Ogoni people, they say we are going to begin the clean-up.  As it is the clean-up is ongoing. But to be very honest, Ogoni clean-up is just one major clean up.  There’s so many clean ups that the federal government need to start doing in the Niger Delta region. There’s some communities that if you go there today, they are in a sorry state. And nobody is talking about those communities. Those communities are abandoned today.  People are there, they can’t farm, and they can’t fish. How would they survive? And we are talking about violence in the Niger Delta. We are calling on the federal government to pay attention to every village that requires a clean-up,” the Executive Director said.

He however urged the government of Nigeria to do what is right by setting up an Ogoni clean up office in the Niger Delta region instead of working from Abuja.

Majority of the persons worse hit by the environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region are women.

Speaking on the issue, another member of the Initiatives for Nurturing Growth, SING, Dr. Itari Turner, said that efforts are being made to assist women in the region.

She noted that most of the women in the region face fertility problems.

“A lot of issues have come up when it comes to environmental degradation, especially medical issues.  A lot of women face fertility problems and death rate among women who are giving birth. So it is very important to educate and enlighten the women on what to do,” Dr. Tuner said.

She said that SING plans to visit those degraded places, fine out what the women need and proffer research based solutions to the specific problems the women are facing specifically.

Environmental Degradation
On the his part, the Mr. Mohammed Basah,  said that tackling environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria would bring about the desired peace.

He also said that the SING, has been working in the Niger Delta region in the area of youths employment, women development, award of scholarships and budget tracking.

He noted that SING would continue to train Nigerian youths in Information and Communication Technology which would help them fit into the larger society.

Saying that there is need for government to end gas flaring in the country considering the health hazard it poses.

“In our efforts to campaign against youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region, we initiated an ICT training programme for young people in one of our focus community. The aim was to engage the youths creatively and take their attention away from crime and violence starting from a young age” Mr. Basah said.

The SING Foundation is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit organization, it commenced formal operations in 2008, engaging in advocacy and enlightenment campaigns on good governance, issues of the environment and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.